One can always tell the truth when someone supposedly loves you. However sometimes the potential likeness of ourselves and our chemistry comes crashing down. Sure I can deny the truth when it comes to myself, but sometimes the universe becomes delusional. We are all born for the same reason: to find self-abdication of what matters most to us.
She originated from Finland, her hair cascaded with the bright color of red that comforts the soul. She was a computer programmer, a whiz in her field of study. She proclaimed there was one answer with no in-betweens regarding the universe: yes or no. She mentioned that the best relationships were based on silence. With silence you could always arrive at a point of orderly truth to the world.
She was always on-call and carried her pager. She worked for Tip Top Tailor in Downtown Toronto before the building was converted into condominium lofts. Many times the computers crashed between 2 am to 3 am and her pager would buzz. This was always followed by her gently whispering into my ear, “Wake up honey, I need a ride.”
I would leave her alone to let her diligently solve the problem. Mind you, I would exhaust every floor of that building to discover the ins and outs of manufacturing. The large cutting tables would often be utilized as a place for me to sleep. It was tough; I would often find myself with an enormous amount of anxiety due to the extreme brightness of the lighting fixtures keeping my mind awake.
For me it wasn’t enough rest, I had become a siv between the pipes of my hockey career. I heard rumors that the boys wanted to get rid of me due to my inability in stopping a beach ball. After the game they would approach me in hopes of lifting my spirits, “Don’t worry, next time will be better.” Little did they know that as soon as I heard her wretched pager buzz, I knew the game later that day would be lost.
One day, she told me we’d be going to a Finnish concerto. I told her I’d rather be playing hockey than listening to a boring symphony of musical instruments. She looked at me, “This conductor is one of the most famous men alive in Finland, the people there go crazy for him.” With reserve modesty she added, “I’ve got backstage passes and you’ll be able to indulge yourselves with drinks and all the culinary fine foods of Finland.”
On the way to the concert she started talking about the universe once again, a quality about her that never failed to annoy me. For her it was a religious experience that reached the infatuation of an emotional rollercoaster. It felt like her relationship with the universe outpaced the chemistry between her and I. I told her, “The universe is complicated and ridiculous, we are all part of it and there is no escape.” Infuriated she shot back, “The universe is like a nuclear furnace of stars complementing the human body that was ready to explode.”
We arrived at our designated seats. The lights went off and luckily for me I dozed off only to be quickly awakened by applause and a standing ovation bestowed to this great conductor of Finland. Following the show we were escorted to the back stage of the venue. The conductor politely asked if I could “fetch” him a few drinks. This was my opportunity to stuff my face with the promised Finnish food I was told of.
I arrived 45 minutes later with the drinks. Her pager buzzed and I knew it was time to go. I patted the conductor on the shoulder and told him, “Try to up the tempo next time, I was barely awake throughout the show.” He replied, “Yes yes, sure thing.”
I wandered around Tip Top Tailor as always, she worked better alone anyways. However, the wandering this time persisted as I was unable to find her. A comfy office chair caught the attention of my eye. I sat down and propped my feet up on the computer desk. As I dozed off my legs rapidly slid from one end of the table to the other and knocked the computer over. I shot up to place the computer back on the desk and that’s when I noticed the crack.
She arrived and stared in horror at the cracked screen. She cursed me endlessly, “Out of all the people I could’ve gone out with I chose a dimwit like you. Do you realize I could lose my job for this?” I frantically tried to defuse the issue, “I’ll pay for the computer honey, or maybe we can fix it together? Plus it’s only just a small crack, who’s going to notice it?”
She curiously gazed at the computer. “Wait, I don’t think that’s a crack.” I couldn’t tell if she was joking, “What do you mean?” I asked. She pulled out a cloth and wiped at the computer screen, it turns out that it was just scuffed; there wasn’t a crack after all. A sign of relief transpired throughout my body.
She finished work and I drove her home. As she was leaving I told her I wouldn’t be able to make it to her place this Saturday because of my hockey game. I won the game for my team that Saturday night, nothing could get through me. Excitedly, I picked up the phone to tell my girlfriend about the news.
“I’m coming over, let’s celebrate” I shouted. There was silence, “No.” We both went silent this time until I heard that wretched buzzing sound from her pager. I asked, “Is the conductor going to drive you to work.” Yet another phase of silence passed, “Yes.”
A few years later I was at the airport. I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder and there she stood with that smile. I smiled back and embraced her. We sat and got caught up with what was going on in our lives and how funny those nights of driving her to Tip Top Tailor were. She lifted up her blouse, “Look, no pager. I’ve moved up in the world.”
I escorted her to her terminal and embraced her one more time. I noticed something peculiar as her head came in contact with my shoulder. “Darling what happened to your hair? You changed the color. You’re blonde now!”
She looked at me, “Please tell me you knew my natural hair was blonde, I’m Finnish. You must’ve known, that’s how this universe works.”
I was stunned to the point of silence. She really did go out with a dimwit.